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The Key Studio Sessions: The Burgeoning

The Burgeoning | Photo by Brant Fuller
The Burgeoning | Photo by Brant Fuller

Philly four-piece The Burgeoning has one leg firmly planted in the indie-dance nightclubs of the Making Time set, while the other one reaches ambitiously for the poppy world of arena rock. The band caught our ear last year with their debut single “Lighthouse” and a solid sonic recipe: tight playing, unique arrangements and big, big hooks. Quick points of reference would be Real Estate and Bastille. Since releasing their Love Alchemy, Life Algorithm EP, the band has been going hard on the Philly live music circuit, honing their craft, sharpening their form and whipping up an on-point cover of “Message In a Bottle” by The Police.

The cover appears in the band’s Key Studio Session, and as you’ll hear, it’s practically custom designed for frontman Logan Thierjung’s elastic voice. Continue reading →

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Listen to Cassavetes’ “lost” Key Studio Session, see them at Bourbon and Branch

Philadelphia punk four-piece Cassavetes is parting ways, but not before one final acoustic appearance at Bourbon and Branch. The band, centered around the songwriting of Josh Agran (who’s also played in Paint It Black, Pet Milk and Nothing in the past) released its Oh So Long LP last summer and, as I said at the time, its Fugazi influences shined through as much as its reverence for 90s rock like Soundgarden.

Cassavetes is composed of Agran on guitar and lead vocals, Patrick McCunney (of Kill the Man Questions) on guitar, Jonathan Murphy (of Sore Saints) on drums and Chris Sigda (of Likers) on bass, and back in the winter, the band came into XPN studios to record a set that mixed old songs and new, electric songs and acoustic. The set sounded great – the electric songs packed a massive punch, while the acoustic selections simmered just as intensely – but the band’s show calendar was, at that point, empty. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Caroline Rose at World Cafe Live, Cold Roses at Bourbon and Branch, Two Gallants at Johnny Brenda

Caroline Rose | Photo by John Vettese
Caroline Rose | Photo by John Vettese

After making a splash in 2013 with her pop-and-country infused album America Religious, New Jersey’s Caroline Rose returned last fall with an album that expanded her sound into realms of gospel and blues with I Will Not Be Afraid. Tonight she plays World Cafe Live opening for Pokey La Farge. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Continue reading →

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Tonight’s (non-#KeyFest) Concert Picks: Lithuania at Bourbon and Branch, Song Dogs at Franky Bradley’s, Feelies at World Cafe Live and more

Lithuania | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
Lithuania | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

Okay, it’s night three, and by now you know the drill: #KeyFest is happening, and we obviously want you all to come there – it’s a great cross-section of the Philly R&B and hip-hop scene. But, you know, there are other shows too. And you should know about them as well. Dom Angelella and Eric Slick’s band Lithuania hits up Bourbon and Branch tonight for the last week of Suburban Living’s April residency. Their ten-years-in-the-making debut LP Hardcore Friends is coming out this summer on Lame-O Records, and it finds the duo at its most polished and rockingist. Read my interview with Slick and Angelella here and get more information on tonight’s show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s (Non-#KeyFest) Concert Picks: Creepoid at Underground Arts, Cheerleader at Union Transfer, The Burgeoning at Bourbon and Branch

Creepoid | Photo by John Vettese

Okay, so Key Fest kicks off tonight, and that’s obviously the concert we’re most pumped about and think you should all go to. But we’ve been telling you about that all week – here are a few other live music options worth your attention, beginning with Creepoid‘s homecoming at Underground Arts. The band is moving back to Philly after spending the past year or so living in Savannah and writing their new record. Their new Cemetery Highrise Slum, is out on June 23rd via Collect Records, and the songs we’ve heard from it slay. Listen to “American Smile” below and get tickets and more info on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Philly Music 101: The basics everyone needs to know about the Philadelphia scene right now

Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com
The Districts | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | Jeremy-Zim.com

Philadelphia is a city of many wonders: a buzzing food scene, an established craft beer culture, and a parade of historical landmarks. But one aspect of our city that we are particularly passionate about is our magnificent local music community and all that is has to offer. Here at The Key, we often focus on the particulars of our scene – where artists will be playing each night, brand new local releases, etc. - so much so that we can forget how overwhelming it can be for newcomers to get their bearings.

So for those of you having trouble finding where to start, we are introducing this new Philly Music 101 series as your guide through the wonderful world of the Philadelphia music scene: all of its passionate, loving members, from artists to venues to studios and more. It’s meant to help new fans navigate the scene as much as emerging musicians looking to break in and behind-the-scenes folks trying to get their start. We hope it will illuminate just what makes it so damn exciting for music lovers to live here. To kick it off, here is a by-no-means-complete overview of the different pieces of the Philadelphia music scene that have come together to make up its sturdy foundation. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Chelydra at Bourbon and Branch, Clark / Nosaj Thing at Johnny Brenda’s

Chelydra | Photo via facebook.com/chelydraoficial
Chelydra | Photo via facebook.com/chelydraoficial

Mexico City rockers Chelydra bring their U.S. tour to Philly tonight for a stop at Bourbon and Branch with Mazzerati and Dedos en Dos. The band released its debut record Retrato Oval last year, and it’s a gripping fusion of hard atmospheric rock styles – a little bit Faith No More, a little bit Soundgarden. Check out the lyric video for “Mexico City” below and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Houndmouth at Union Transfer, SHIFT Showcase at Underground Arts, Suburban Living at Bourbon and Branch and more

Houndmouth | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com
Houndmouth | Photo by Rocco Peditto | roccopeditto.com

Based on their Free at Noon just a few weeks ago, Houndmouth’s live show game is strong right now. The Indiana roots rock crew dropped their album Little Neon Limelight just a few weeks back, and it packs an incredible, infectious punch. Watch the video for “Sedona” below and get tickets and more info on tonight’s show at Union Transfer at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tobias Jesso Jr at Boot and Saddle, Impressionist at Bourbon and Branch, The Cloth at Underground Arts

Tobias Jesso Jr | photo via tobiasjessojr.com
Tobias Jesso Jr | photo via tobiasjessojr.com

Buzzing Vancouver artist Tobias Jesso Jr. headlines Boot and Saddle tonight. The singer-songwriter and pianist writes smooth and sincere pop songs in the vein of Randy Newman, and was produced by members of The Black Keys and New Pornographers (and features drumming from Danielle Haim). His album Goon came out last week on True Panther Sounds. Watch the video for “How Could You Babe” below and get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →